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I’ve never felt so happy cleaning out the stalls…That was the call from harness racing’s latest edition to the winners’ circle Maddie Ray. Ray, who works for Rebecca Cartwright and Craig Turnbull, registered her maiden victory as a driver when partnering Popeye Village at Shepparton last night. After enjoying the perfect one-one trail, the son of Village Jasper completed a five-metre win from Thelove Child, with Krisney Girl a half-head away third. Covering the last half in 58.4 seconds, Popeye Village rated 1:59 for the 1690-metre dash. Rapt with the triumphant, Ray stated the milestone will forever remain her greatest moment within the industry. “I’m so excited and think I’ll be on a high for such a long time,” Ray declared. “Even this morning, I’ve never felt so happy cleaning out the stalls…it was great! “To get my first win is just amazing and is something I will never forget.” The 19-year-old also had an extra reason to be happy with his success, which came at her 16th drive. “Craig got his first win at his 17th drive, so that rivalry has been on as the countdown got closer,” Ray said. “I’m so happy to have the bragging rights now.” A talented horsewoman, Ray has spent the bulk of her life around horses and is an accomplished show jumps rider. It is her equestrian passion which led Ray into harness racing, with the budding star hoping to forge a career with standardbreds. “My mum was into horses and I got my first horse when I was three,” Ray said. “I’ve had them ever since, so horses have always been in my blood. “I use to keep my show jumper at Colleen’s (Bamford, owner) place, which is how I got introduced to harness racing. “Now I work full time for Rebecca and Craig, but I’d love to become a professional driver one day. “Further down the track, I would like to train as well, but for now I just want to built up some drives and hopefully winners along the way.” PAUL COURTS

Veteran harness racing mare Broadways Best is not finished yet. That’s the call from trainer Shannon McLean, who stated the multiple Group One winner will continue to compete throughout the season as long as her form warrants a career extension. Racing in a consistent manner this campaign, Broadways Best’s last five starts have netted a win, two placings and two fourths. “She is happy racing and is holding her form well,” McLean said. “As long as she keeps doing that she will keep racing. “I’ve said all along, the moment she starts giving me signs she’s had enough, she will be retired. “As it stands, she is happy in what she is doing and still enjoys the competition of racing.” Successful at 29 of her 91 starts, with 28 placings and a bankroll of $637,439 also to her credit, Broadways Best is engaged in tomorrow night’s Casey Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton. The feature also doubles as champion pacer Smoken Up’s farewell appearance, with McLean “thrilled to be part of the moment.” “It’s going to be a race to remember with Smoken Up having his last start and I’m just thrilled to be part of the moment,” McLean said. “Everyone would like to see Smoken Up retire with a win, but that said, we will still be doing our best to come home with the win as well.” Blessed with her share of gate speed, Broadways Best has drawn to settle in a forward position from barrier two, with Smoken Up to follow the daughter of Village Jasper through from the second row. Follow this weekend’s appearance, the nine-year-old will be given a brief freshen up before being aimed at several country cups and features. “I may give her a week off after this and then sit down and see what’s around,” McLean said. “A few of the country cups and features such as the Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore will be on her radar during the next few months.” PAUL COURTS

Harness Racing New South Wales is offering services to several star stallions via auction. New season sire Caribbean Blaster heads the crew, with support coming from former champion juvenile Lombo Pocket Watch and leading producer Village Jasper. Bids can be place online via and are expected to attract plenty of attention. A multiple Group One winning son of Bettors Delight, Caribbean Blaster is standing for Alabar at Yirribee Pacing Stud for a fee of $2750. Australia's only 'Million Dollar Baby', Lombo Pocket Watch is also based at Yirribee, where he stands for a price of  $2200. Rounding out the Yirribee supported auction, Village Jasper - the sire of winners of more than $34 million in Australia and New Zealand - has an asking price of $3300. Interested parties can start bidding today at - HRNSW Media

New South Wales trained Marty Monkhouser has made it two straight wins with an all-the-way triumph in the Empire Stallions 4YO Breeders Crown colts and geldings’ final today at harness racing headquarters at Tabcorp Park Melton. Lauren Panella delivered the perfect drive aboard the Shane Tritton trained son of Village Jasper, whose second quarter of the last mile – 32.5 – had to have played an important role in the victory. Marty Monkhouser found the lead early from gate six despite there being plenty of talk about the front line’s gate speed pre-race, though she had to work for it. Race favourite Bit Of A Legend worked around the field to the breeze but did have to put in some hard yards out three-wide early. Turning for home the final time, Marty Monkhouser kept on kicking, holding off all challengers to score by 1.4m over Bit Of A Legend and Dexter Dunn, with Majestic Mach finishing third for Grant Dixon. The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.6. It was an ultra-gutsy performance by Marty Monkhouser, who has now won 10 races from 35 starts. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Xanderxav overcame an early speed duel to win the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Trotters Graduate at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. The Linton Power trained trotter had the pole draw, which helped him hold out the early challenge from fellow mobile-start firebrand squaregaiter Mister Gunsen. With regular driver David Moran in the spider Xanderxav, who hails from Marungi, continued his recent strong form, the wily eight-year-old racing more like a spritely four-year-old. At the 500-metre mark it became clear Xanderxav comfortably had the measure of race favourite Zedalite, which was beginning to struggle in the breeze. El Paco reaced by pulling out of the one-one to stake its claim three-wide, while Stoned I Am snagged back to the markers near the rear of the field and saved enormous ground around the final turn. But old Xanderxav is tougher than a cheap steak and the son of glorious trotter Wagon Apollo added a Group 2 victory to his kitbag, scoring a 4.9-metre win over runner-up Stoned I Am (Simone Walker). Xanderxav’s mile rate for the 2240-metre trip was 1:59.4. The Group 2 Breeders Crown Pacers’ Graduate was taken out by Keayang Cullen for Terang trainer Marg Lee and driver Jason Lee. The in-form free-for-all star is headed towards the Miracle Mile long-term and tonight he defeated Shane Tritton trained Suave Stuey Lombo by 2.1 metres, while the winner’s stablemate, Keayang Steamer, finished third for driver Glen Craven. Keayang Cullen zipped around the field early to find the lead and then kept on kicking for a good win in a rate of 1:56.0, with a last half-mile of 55.7secs. Earlier in the night Grant Dixon trained and driven Feel The Faith was too strong for Glenferrie Blade in the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies’ consolation, while Boasson Hagen took out the American Ideal @ Woodlands two-year-old boys’ Breeders Crown consolation for Tasmanian trainer Christian Salter and leading reinsman Gavin Lang. Boasson Hagen beat runner-up Pompidou by a head with Hez The One third for Heywood trainer Bec East. John Justice delivered a perfect front-running drive aboard Shakti Bromac to land the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pace over 2240 metres, too strong for runner-up Valley Of Diamonds, while Wounded ran third. Rockbank trainer Joe Vassallo enjoyed success in the Breeders Crown Graduate Trot with four-year-old Village Jasper gelding Stunning Jasper scoring a half-head win over race favourite Jeter with Speedy Rambo third. Michael Stanley, who has Soho Tokyo in the two-year-old fillies’ Breeders Crown Final on Sunday, captured the Breeders Crown Broodmare Noms Close 1 September Pace over 2240 metres with four-year-old Presidential Ball gelding Hilltop Hustler, which powered home by five metres over runner-up The Good Times and third placegetter Turnpike Cruiser. Four-year-old D M Dilinger gelding Crazy Dave broke his metropolitan maiden status in the eighth race, the TAB.COM.AU Pace over 2240m. The winner came from the Gary Bailey stable at Portarlington and was driven by Michael Bellman. Essbee Doubleyou ran second for Jodi Quinlan, while Tyler Bromac was third for Matthew Craven. Valley Ess Jay won the last race, the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting consolation. Trained and driven by trotting master Chris Lang, the Skyvalley gelding fought back doggedly after being headed by The Third Son late to win by 1.9 metres. The Third Son held on for second for John Caldow, while Glenferrie Belle was well beaten in third place. Racing returns to Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday for the 10-Group 1 Breeders Crown Finals Day, where a huge crowd is expected. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria  

An exciting night of trotting at the Nyah District Harness Racing Club was held at the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Thursday, with many races on the program named after those who have been associated with the club for a long period of time. This season’s state leading trainer, Mildura’s Shayne Cramp, had favourite punters cheering when he won the opening race – the Alta Christiano @ Alabar Stallions 2YO Pace over 1750 metres with Mach Three/Ally McBlossom filly Aldebaran Brandi. A winner on debut at Mildura on July 15, Aldebaran Brandi ($1.60) repeated the dose by leading throughout from outside the front line to easily account for Bright And Sonny (four wide last lap from last), with Our Work Of Art a stablemate of the winner coming from four back the markers at bell along the sprint lane to finish third. The mile rate was 1:57.2. Bendigo duo David Van Ryn and nephew Haydon Gray had an easy victory with Courage Under Fire/Delightful Emm 3Y0 gelding Courageous Emm in the Alan Branson Pace for C0 class over 1750 metres. Driven with aggression from gate two to retain the front running, Courageous Emm ($1.20) bounded away on the final bend to record a 10.9 metre victory in a rate of 1:57.5 over Another Approval (three back the markers) and Marcellus, which trailed the winner. Echuca trainer Wayne Lear is a regular at most Nyah meetings and landed the Max Slater Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres with five year old Village Jasper/Macray Purple gelding Purple Village in a rate of 1:58.7. Taken back to the tail of the field from outside the front line by Bec Bartley, Purple Village ($2.90) came with a barnstorming finish on straightening to blouse the leader Illawong Lively right on the wire (the margin a runaway half-neck), with Parisian Ruler third after facing the open from the bell. Honest five-year-old Die Laughing/Lily Princess mare Misschinoise scored a well deserved victory in the Peter Coady Pace for C2 class over 1750 metres, chalking up her seventh success in 51 outings. Trained and driven by Ararat’s Michael Bellman, who travels many thousands of miles around the state each season, Misschinoise ($3.70) enjoyed a sweet passage from gate three three back along the markers, with the pole marker Soho Jagger driven desperately to hold out the second elect Attack On Command (gate four) which then eased to follow the pacemaker. Moving away from the inside in the last lap, Misschinoise cruised up to Soho Jagger on the home turn and when asked for an effort on straightening, coasted to the wire 5.5 metres in advance of Soho Jagger and Attack On Command in a mile rate of 1:59.8. Popular Mildura trainer Frank Cavallaro was in the winners stall following the victory of Tommys Song ($5.80) in the Arthur Graham Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres. Driven by Luke Watson, Tommys Song, a 4YO gelded son of P Forty Seven and Tell Laura began smartly from gate three to be outside the leader Gnarly at the start, before being eased to take one/one cover when Unfair Dismissal was driven forward to park in the open. Eased three-wide in the last lap, Tommys Song ran home strongly to gain the day from Boom Boom Hall, which rattled home from near last on turning, with Yankidoodledanvers using the sprint lane for third after following the weakening leader. The mile rate was 1:59.8. Mildura (Cardross) trainer Frank Merceica’s six-year-old Pass The Mustard/Princess Yum Yum gelding Sir Pickles Yum Yum loves competing at Swan Hill and registered his third victory on the circuit when successful in the Jim Roberts Pace for C3 to C5 class over 2240 metres. With Greg Sugars in the sulky after making the long trek from Melton, Sir Pickles Yum Yum ($12.50) settled four back in the running line from gate four, with Mind The Wire leading before handing up to Mick Bellman’s Ourcrownin. With a number of changes happening during the race, Sir Pickles Yum Yum had moved to be three back at the bell and when taken wide on turning, rattled home to score by 1.3 metres in a rate of 2:00.2. Well Oiled Lombo (four wide final bend) ran home from last to claim third place. The Blissful Hall @ Empire Stallions 3YO Pace, first leg of the Daily Double and second leg of the Quaddie was declared a no race following a fall by Warana Court on the first turn. Len Baker - Harness Racing Victoria  

Successful harness racing horseman Jarrod Alchin has been spending plenty of time travelling recently and things may not change in the short term should everything go to plan. Alchin trains talented two year old Franciso De Gore, the son of Village Jasper that placed in a repechage of the Breeders Crown at Geelong last week. "I was really happy with his performance in the repechage and if things all go to plan, including a good barrier draw, I think he can qualify for the Breeders Crown final," Alchin said. "His run behind Ominous Warning was very strong at Menangle. They went 55.1 for the last 800 metres and he wanted to hit the line, I think he is going to make a really nice three year old next season." While Alchin will be in Victoria on Saturday night with Franciso De Gore, his stable will have two runners at Tabcorp Park Menangle too. "Kennedy Creek won a race three starts ago when he led and was too good, he worked very strongly on Monday and I'd like to see him hold the front again this week." "He finished eighth last start but if you watch the run it wasn't too bad. He was well back, made some good ground and didn't have much luck in the straight." Alchin's other runner is Eagles Ace, a three year old that has some strong Riverina form to his credit. "He only arrived last week, he's a nice horse and has been racing well in the bush but he has been sent up here to try and win a Metropolitan three year old before the end of the season." "I was really happy with his work on Monday too, so if he races up to the work I think he is going to be right in the finish. He is only going to be here for a month or so." By Greg Hayes Harness Racing New South Wales

Bernie Hewitt has had a relatively modest season by his own high standards, but the last month has been highly successful for the Georges Plains harness racing trainer-driver with a feature win in the Breeders Blue Final by promising filly Read About Lexy and multiple successes at a number of other harness racing meetings. That strong finish was maintained with a treble at last Wednesday’s Bathurst meeting. Joannie Pony ($4.50) was reined by his nephew, the in-formScotty Hewitt, who brought the mare with a well-timed run in the C1 sprint, right over the top of favourite Polished Rocks, who tried very hard, and Queen Khawaja. The last half was covered in 59.8 but the overall mile rate of 1:59.9, good under winter conditions,was the result of unrelenting pace in the first part of the event. Hewitt completed his good night’s work by driving the winners of two of the final three races. Famous Fella ($3.60) came from well back in a 3C0 sprint to overhaul death-seating Kyalla Tee Jay and Monica’s Magic, which had enjoyed the one-one trail. The last half was run in a minute flat. The winner was a smart two-year-old last season, placing fifth in the Crown final won by All Black Stride NZ, but his only success this term had been in Restricted company. He will try to pick up that hardest win – the second 3YO – before heading for a break. Bernie’s wife Cathy shares in the ownership of Famous Fella, but she would have been even more impressed by the result of the following race. Pass The Magic ($4.00) was an easy all the way winner of a 2C0-2C2 Fillies sprint and better still hers is the only name on the ownership papers. A Menangle winner earlier in the season, she’d been unlucky in some of her recent starts, but a smart 59.5 last half gave an indication of the ability of the daughter of Passmaster Hanover. Asked to comment on his wife’s ownership double,Bernie ‘s thoughts turned to a possible roast dinner. Hopefully so, with a cuddle thrown in for good measure! Ashlee Siejka is another trainer putting in the big strides in the latter part of the season, and she was rewarded with a double at the meeting. Red Vee Hanover, $2.70 favourite in a very strong C 2 over 2130 metres, justified the support by sitting outside the lead and opening up a clear break on the turn before holding on narrowly from his stablemate Packnplenty, which got an inside run close to the line. Smack Dab Shannon held on for third. With the first half run in a pedestrian 64 seconds, the speed came on over the final lap, which took just 58.4 seconds, adding merit to the win, the first this season for the five-year-old. “He didn’t go as well as we’d hoped early in the season, with illnesses and a few injuries, but now that he’s struck some form, we hope he can keep it going,” was the trainer driver’s assessment after the race. Our Miss Kathryn NZ ($3.30 ) brought up the Siejka double in the following race, a 2130 metres C3 – C6, and like the earlier win, it was achieved sitting outside the lead, throwing in a very quick third quarter – 28.3 in this case – and out staying her rivals down the running. The overall mile rate was 2:02.4 . The winner races for Siejka’s partner Ryan Grives, who’s had a dream introduction to harness racing, with wins by this mare and by promising juvenile Ameretto. Time for Ryan to check out that baked dinner recipe? Amanda Turnbull was yet another to grab a driving double in successive races, hers coming in the middle of the meeting, sandwiched between the Siejka and Hewitt efforts. Padabing Stride ($2.30 favourite, for father Steve) deserved his win in a C 0 sprint sponsored by his owners the Rosati family. After working round the field to the death, he controlled the race, for a clear win from leader Kapow Shannon and trailer Lawsons Way. Lacking high speed, the Village Jasper four-year-old is usually required to race from the death, and had been runner-up at his previous three starts when driven in that fashion. His driver reckons “he’s like a big, gangly kid, still growing up, and working it all out. Long Hot Summer ($2.90 ) recently joined Josh Turnbull’s team from the Dean Cernovskis stable, and grabbed his second win for the season in a 3CO sprint, prevailing in a slogging finish from death-seat runner Noahs Ark ( a half to earlier winner Red Vee Hanover) and Puffnstuff. Like his sire Metropolitan, the winner is a big strong type, and he is yet to grow into himself. When the starter released the field in the opening C0 – C1 sprint, eventually taken out by The Rag Doll ($3.90, Jarrod Alchin / Colin McDowell ) an electrical malfunction prevented the on-course broadcast and the crowd had the strange, almost surreal, experience of watching the race in total silence. This lasted till the final turn, when things changed suddenly- the din of drivers all yelling at their horses was a novel, and dramatic experience normally hidden by the commentary. No-one would willingly do without Kevin Thompson’s fine race calls, but this enforced silence gave everyone at the track some insight into just what goes on at the business end of a race. Amy Day kept up her Bathurst strike-rate with a deserved win by Audrey Maree in the final race, an R 0 sprint. The four-year-old mare has been a model of consistency this season, with 8 places from 12 starts prior to this maiden win. Coopers Beach Boy and Tim McGee filled the minor placings. Bathurst HRC has announced two important dates for the diary –September 21 for the final meeting at the Bathurst Showgrounds track, and October 19 for the opening at the new Mt Panorama complex. They’ll both be huge milestones - for the club, for Bathurst and the Western Districts, and for harness racing in New South Wales. More about these special days, in coming weeks. By Terry Neil    

This beautiful 400 acre standardbred nursery on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River has long been recognised as one of Australia's premier harness racing stud farms. Established in 1985 by Rod Woodhouse and the late Ian Walsh, Yirribee has earned its reputation for excellence over the last thirty years through hard work and professional management. The 400 acres are fully irrigated and the paddocks, fencing and stables have all been purpose built to ensure the safety and well-being of the horses on the stud. Yirribee Pacing Stud bred their own mares with an eye to the yearling sales where they have built up a reputation as genuine sellers of quality yearlings, having sold numerous classic winners over the last 30 years. Yirribee Pacing Stud is looking forward to the coming season with real confidence. Not only is the stud environment in outstanding condition but the stallion roster is exciting to say the least. Still run on a day to day basis by its co-founder Rod Woodhouse with help from Dianne Sutherland, Yirribee's success is in no small part due to the longevity of most of the staff employed at the stud. The well regarded stud master Roger Strong has been at Yirribee since 1998 and with Rod and Dianne gives the stud that vital experience needed to run such a large operation. The on farm pregnancy rate of 94% is testament to their knowledge and experience. With the stud being in such close proximity to the airport, Yirribee is able to send semen anywhere in Australia and know that it will reach its destination the same day. In 2011 Yirribee established a new quarantine area to allow for the exportation of semen to New Zealand in recognition that Australia and New Zealand now operate as a single market in the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. So the infrastructure and the staff at Yirribee are first class and this season they have the stallions to match.  One stallion that has them really excited with the new breeding season approaching is Million Dollar Cam. Million Dollar Cam 1:50.4 ($969,792) who stood in North America for several years, has been having a stellar season in both hemispheres this year. That shouldn't come as any surprise to Australian breeders as Million Dollar Cam was a two and three year old of the highest class, winning the famous Little Brown Jug in 1:50.2 on the half mile oval, defeating both Art Major and Mach Three. The horse that started the ball rolling this year was PH Supercam 1:51.1h ($717,222) who won the $567,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Series Final at Yonkers in a very quick 1:52.3 on the half mile oval. PH Supercam is the latest in a long line of quality horses sired by Million Dollar Cam in North America joining the likes of PH Jackpot 1:49.4f ($745,643) Mr Saratoga 1:49.4s ($705,017), Deuces And Jacks 1:51.2f ($626,084) and Play It Wynn 1:50.4s ($588,715) to name just a few of the horses that have helped Million Dollar Cam to accrue $21,816,457 in stakes to date. Million Dollar Cam is also having a great season in Australia with his first crop of two year olds. With a crop numbering just 60, his juveniles have been making Australian breeders sit up and take notice as they have been prominent in all the major stakes races. The headline act amongst them so far has been Its Only Rocknroll 1:55.5 ($96,910) who won the $125,000 New South Wales Breeders Challenge Final for colts and geldings. Throw in the smart filly Ameretto 1:56.9 ($49,675) Milliondollar Wave 1:57.6 ($35,743) and Karalta Impulse 2:03.4 ($23,165) and Million Dollar Cam is chalking up some pretty impressive numbers. Million Dollar Cam has had 21 two year old starters to date for 6 winners of $240,008 which is a great launching pad for his stud career in Australia. Million Dollar Cam - Little Brown Jug But Million Dollar Cam is not the only stallion that Yirribee has high hopes for this breeding season. Pet Rock 1:47 ($1,985,820) will be standing his first season in Australia this year and this brilliant son of Rocknroll Hanover has so much to offer Southern Hemisphere breeders. His world records of 1:48.1 on an half mile track and 1:47.2 on a five eights track establish one thing beyond any doubt. You don’t run such incredibly quick times on small tracks unless you have a flawless gait. Pet Rock raced and beat the best colts of his year on his way to earning $1,985,820. Not only does he have the performance on the board, but he is bred in the purple as well. He is the fastest son of the great sire, Rocknroll Hanover 1:48.3m ($3,069,093) whose stock have won in excess of  $65,665,136 to date and is from a daughter of Artsplace in Casual Beauty 1:54  who has left four in 1:55 at stud. The Rocknroll Hanover over an Artsplace mare cross has been sensational in North America with six of his eight millionaires being bred on that cross. It all adds up to Pet Rock having all the credentials to make it as a sire which is obviously how the North Americans see him as he served 140 mares at Midland Stud in Ohio in his first season. Pet Rock - World record on a five-eights track Backing these two sires up are a string of proven sires which include; VILLAGE JASPER - Has already sired 658 winners who have won $30,921,212. There is not much more needs to be said really. He is a top sire of both fillies and colts who continues to leave high class horses. LOMBO POCKET WATCH - Really only has the one crop of four year olds to represent him on the track as he went back to the racetrack after that season. So far that crop has had 25 winners for stakes of $570,084 including such smart types as Big Ben Lombo 1:57 ($53,374), Clancys Fobwatch 1:56 ($59,768), Magic Moment Lombo 1:57.4 ($51,320) and Lombo Keepa Secret 1:57.6 ($43,663) so Lombo Pocket Watch has made an encouraging start as a sire. JOHN STREET NORTH - Has proven to be a great bread and butter sire with 181 winners to date for stakes totalling $6,305,319. He has sired 14 $100,000 winners including such smart types as Fourmore 1:56 ($273,348), Flite Dynasty 1:55.8 ($183,840), Go Go Bop 1:57.5 ($183,490) and No More Drink 1:56.1 ($163,529). Looks great value at $1,000 (gst inclusive) RIVER KHAN - Another sire who has done a good job with 147 winners to date for stakes totalling $4,375,906. What he can do is leave that real top liner such as About To Rock 1:58.5 ($553,395,) Mighty River ($425,560) and Muddy River 1:59.4 ($207,313). MR FEELGOOD - Only available via frozen semen from Queensland this season after standing at Yirribee last season. Off to a great start in Queensland and has all the credentials to make a top sire. Yirribee Pacing Stud should be very proud of the outstanding siring group it has assembled for the 2014/2015 breeding season. There is something there for everyone and every budget. Going by the depth of the stallions available, one would expect that Rod, Dianne and Roger are going to be very busy this breeding season. Harnesslink media

Harness racing driver Gary Whitaker is in familiar surroundings. The talented Queensland reinsman will take the drive the drive on gifted two-year-old pacer Constantlysideways in Saturday night’s Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park. And despite his shock loss in the heat last week behind Admiral Bronski, Whitaker is comfortable about heading into the rich final. “Our aim last week was to give him an easier run as possible with a view to the final but it turned out he enjoyed the relaxed approach a little too much, Admiral Bronski sprinted quickly and got us down over the concluding stages but it will be a different story this week.” Whitaker said. The combination of Gary Whitaker and trainer Bill Crosby over the last decade with feature race results has been extraordinary with a raft of trophies to their credit through the deeds of Western Mail, Shez No Fake, Lady White Water and Morethanmeetstheye to name a few. And Constantlysideways is looking to add his name to that impressive list. The Village Jasper – Misscilla gelding has been a consistent player during his rookie season but Whitaker expects a bold performance in what shapes as his final start of the season before a well-deserved spell. “This is his Grand Final and we won’t leave anything in the locker this week, he’s trained on really well and the draw looks very good on paper so we’ll be looking for the lead again. “If he produces an effort like he did two starts ago when he paced 1;56 and change he will prove very hard to beat, he can win this race but it won’t be easy. His main dangers appear to have drawn to our outside and we won’t give away that advantage. “A Good Chance is drawn directly on our back and I won’t be surprised to see Donny Smith driving through behind us at the start, if he does, he’s likely to end up in front of a horse like Admiral Bronski. I think A Good Chance is the horse to beat because he’s been so consistent all season long, it should be a very good race.” A Good Chance rated the quickest time of the two heats last week with a 1;57.7 clocking in comparison to Admiral Bronski who rated 1;59.0. TattsBet have listed A Good Chance as the $2.40 favourite over Constantlysideways at $3.60. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 19 July 2014 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 19 July 2014

Elora, ON --- It was a banner night for trainer Casie Coleman and driver Chris Christoforou as they teamed up to sweep the trio of C$70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Wednesday (July 16) at Grand River Raceway.  All three winning colts – Bob Ben And John, Southwind Indy, and Rollwiththepunches – are from the first crop of Sportswriter, who Coleman also trained throughout his career, including his victory in the 2010 North America Cup. In the first Gold Series test Bob Ben And John and Christoforou moved from third to first before the :56.3 half-mile marker.  From there, he would go on to reach three-quarters in 1:26.2 before he closed with a :28.2 final kicker to win by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4, which was the fastest of the three divisions.  Go Daddy Go (Randy Waples) challenged Bob Ben And John first-over in the final half but had to settle for second and early leader Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell) checked in third. West Wins Stable of Cambridge and Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario, own Bob Ben And John, who is a perfect two-for-two in his career, with both victories coming in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events.  Bob Ben And John, who was bred by Frank Coleman and sold for $17,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the fifth foal out of the Cambest mare My Best Girl, making him a half-brother to the likes of Ohmybelle ($223,097). Odds-on favorite Sporting The Look (Jody Jamieson) was in control through stations of :28, :58.1, and 1:27.1 in the second section, but he would make a break in stride and leave the course just past three-quarters.  With Sporting The Look out of contention, Southwind Indy and Christoforou inherited the lead from the pocket, and Southwind Indy would go on to win by a length and a quarter in 1:56.3.  Sports Bettor (Randy Waples) was the runner-up and Windsong Lightning (Eddie Green) grabbed third. It was the first win in two tries for Southwind Indy, who is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ontario, and Southwind Farms LLC. of Pennington, New Jersey.  Southwind Farms also bred Southwind Indy, who was purchased for $45,000 out of the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.  Southwind Indy is the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Its Only Rocknroll.  Its Only Rocknroll’s dam is Armbro Wallflower (Village Jasper), a multiple-time OSS winner at two and three, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for 3-year-olds in 2002. Deetzy (Randy Waples) showed the way through fractions of :29, :58, and 1:26.4 in the OSS Gold Series nightcap, but Christoforou fanned Rollwiththepunches wide for the drive following an off-the-pace trip, and Rollwiththepunches would take the lead at the top of the stretch.  Once he was in control, Rollwiththepunches drew away to score by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2.  Win One Soon (Phil Hudon) finished second, followed by Lyons Jimmydean (James MacDonald). Like Bob Ben And John, Rollwiththepunches improved his record to two-for-two in his career and in OSS competition for owner West Wins Stable.  Bred by Concord Stud Farm LLC., Paul Stromick, and Birnam Wood Farms, Rollwiththepunches was taken out of last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for $17,000.  Rollwiththepunches is the first foal out of the Western Terror mare Terroronthebeach, a half-sister to Guestimate ($656,546) and Dinner Guest ($554,867). Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action for the rookie colt and gelding pacers will resume on August 10 at Georgian Downs.  For full results and charts from Wednesday night’s events, please click - From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Bolinda harness racing trainer Kari Males is enjoying a blistering run of form. Males, whose two-year-old stable star Niki No No won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, had a winner on Tuesday night at Shepparton with trotter The Truth before backing it up on Wednesday afternoon with six-year-old gelding Hall Of Famer victorious at Maryborough. It means Males’ last three runners to the races have been winners. Hall Of Famer, a C6 horse, utilised the claim for junior driver Kyle Marshall in the C4-C5 Bill Davies Memorial Pace over 1690m. Marshall took the son of Blissfull Hall to the breeze early, outside pacemaker With Gusto (Daryl Douglas). At the 400m, Hall Of Famer poured the pressure on full-blast, taking the lead early in the home straight before With Gusto fought back gamely to go down by a neck. Another junior driver in Mark Pitt enjoyed a great day out at Maryborough with a winning double. Pitt piloted Yankee Strutter home in the Col and Margaret Ford Memorial 2YO Pace (Race 1) before bookending the program with victory in the last on Waltalight. Both winners were trained by Wayne Potter. Two heats of the Trustees Carisbrook Racecourse Reserve Trotters Handicap were run and won at Maryborough, with Bill Morgan trained-and-driven Gioiosa Ionica victorious in the first heat by 4.3m over William John, while Tennotrump gelding Jay Gee from the Ross Graham stable won the second heat by 8.4m with Daryl Douglas in the sulky. Veteran trainer-driver Ginger Gleeson drove Sun Bird into second behind Jay Gee, the 10-year-old trotter finding some form at huge odds. Peter Manning and Greg Sugars combined with Village Jasper gelding Mixedwithajasper in the Seelite Windows and Doors 3YO Pace over 1690m, the three-year-old defeating Fremarks Ceejay by 3.7m in a mile rate of 1:57.2. Fremarks Ceejay and trainer-driver Courtney Slater bowled along freely at the front of the field for much of the race but couldn’t match the winner in the last 50m. Alan Dunsmuir-trained Western Gretel continued her strong recent form with victory in the McPhersons Printing Group Pace, defeating hot favourite Hellovaway by 3.6m. Driven a treat by young gun reinsman Alex Ashwood, Western Gretel finished too strongly for Hellovaway (Michael Sullivan), which was backing up after a gutsy seventh in the Vicbred Super Series Final on Saturday night. And another junior driver, Corey Bell, scored career win number 11 aboard Stunning Grin in the Happy 90th Frank Bartlett Pace over 2190m. The three-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding from the Vince Vallelonga yard prevailed by 8.1m at $1.60 in a mile rate of 1:59.4. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

The Emma Stewart stable has the potential to dominate this Friday night’s colossal Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Stewart has 10 runners engaged across the 12-race program, including numerous expected prepost favourites. Headlining her chances are unbeaten two-year-old filly Lovelist ($1.60) in the 2YO fillies’ second semi-final and Group 1 star Guaranteed ($1.60) in the 4YO males’ first semi-final. Since arriving on the scene with a win at Maryborough on April 7, Lovelist has won twice at Tabcorp Park Melton – including victory in the Group 2 Vicbred Home Grown Final – before a last-start 5m win at Maryborough in the Super Series 2YO Fillies second heat. “She’s our best two-year-old filly,” Stewart declared on Wednesday. “She’s done everything right. I’d expect her to get through on Friday night and then we hope she goes on to win the final. “While we don’t know exactly how good she is yet, she’d have to be right up there with the best two-year-olds we’ve trained.” Lovelist comes out of gate four on Friday in Race 10, with her main dangers expected to be highly rated David Miles-trained Diamond Castle (drawn 10) and Amanda Turnbull’s Missed By Red (gate five). Harness Racing Victoria’s popular ownership program Raceapacer owns Diamond Castle, which will have an enthusiastic group cheering her on in Friday night’s race. Stewart is confident four-year-old Guaranteed can win through to the Super Series Final but admitted to being concerned about the Chariots of Fire winner’s gate-one draw on Friday night. “I can see us being buried away back on the pegs again,” she said. “But as long as we get through to the final, that’s the main thing.” Stewart believes Ginger Bliss will lead on Friday night before handing up to something else, which would shuffle Guaranteed three back on the markers. However, if Ginger Bliss leads as expected and doesn’t hand up, Guaranteed should be able to hold its back and secure its shot at victory via the sprint lane. Another scenario would be Ginger Bliss pings out early to lead clearly and something else – maybe Classy Guy or Boyz Torque – drops in behind the leader, shuffling Guaranteed back early. Stewart said she would prefer Guaranteed to be off the markers and doing some work rather than being buried away on the inside, but added it was up to driver Gavin Lang to assess the situation on Friday night. “Gavin’s got to weigh it up,” she said. When asked about Guaranteed potentially starting near $1.60, Stewart replied: “That’s pretty short…” Stewart’s three-year-old gelding Presidentialsecret ($6.50) could be her each-way value runner for the night, the trainer spruiking the horse as one “she really likes”. “He does need a bit of luck because he’s not the strongest horse going around but I really like the way he’s working at home and if we can get into the final and then draw a nice gate, he’d be a good chance,” she said. Stewart opens the marathon program with Goodtime Marjie ($3) in the 4YO mares’ first semi-final from gate six. “She’s a really top-class mare but she can do a few things wrong,” the trainer said. “It depends which Goodtime Marjie turns up.” The daughter of Village Jasper has turned up more often than not though, winning seven of her 11 starts to date. Stewart also has a likely favourite in Race 2, the first semi-final of the 2YO fillies’ division with Licinia drawn gate three. “I like her. We’ve only had her for three starts for us and she’s won two of them. She can go forward and do some work so the gate looks ideal.” Punters also look set to put their faith in yet another Stewart runner in Race 6, the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, with Our Femme Fatale drawn gate six. “She’s the most underrated horse we’ve got, I think,” said Stewart. “You always know what you’re going to get from her; she always tries her hardest. She’s a great mare.” Our Femme Fatale sat in the death and out-toughed Earth Angel, which has drawn five on Friday night, last time out at Kilmore. In the 3YO fillies’ first semi-final Stewart will put the polish on Berisari from gate two, with Nathan Jack to take the drive. “If you’d said to me at the start of the year that she’d be one of our best fillies I’d have laughed,” Stewart said. “But she’s going really, really well, and she’s a really good show on Friday night. “Nathan drives her very well. She can go forward and do some work but she also has a sharp sprint on her, so I’m not fussed about tactics. I’ll leave it up to Nathan.” Of Hes Kinky (gate 12 for the second semi-final of the 4YO boys) Stewart said: “He’s a good sit-and-sprint horse who is up in class. He’s a chance.” And in the last race of the night Stewart will have two runners, Tuscan Breeze (John Caldow, gate two) and Bettors Package (Gavin Lang, gate 10). “We were happy with Tuscan Breeze’s first start with us. She’ll keep improving. “Bettors Package is a lovely filly. She’s only tiny but she tries her hardest and with a little bit of luck she can hopefully go very close.” By Cody Winnell

Terang’s Matthew Craven took driving honours with a treble at Horsham on Monday. Joining forces with Terang trainer Tony Harrison, talented Modern Art/Moroni colt Clark Griswold was first to arrive, scoring easily in the Conways Pace over 1700m. Having his first outing since March, Clark Griswold wasn’t pushed out from his outside-front-row draw, gradually moving forward to cross the pacemaker Sign No More, which had worked three-wide from gate four to lead running into the first turn. Once in front, Clark Griswold coasted for the remainder of the race to score by 16.8m in a rate of 2:00.2 from Sign No More, which battled away gamely for second. It was Clark Griswold’s third win from four starts. It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad, trained by Craven, was a big winner of the Westvic Race Pix 3YO Pace over 2200m. Beginning brilliantly from the extreme draw, Craven wasted little time in sending Okelerho Lad forward to race outside the pole line leader Rockin Roger, where he dictated terms. Surging to the front approaching the home turn, Okelerho Lad was too strong over the concluding stages to score a 4.3m win in advance of ex-Kiwi Ark, with Game Cullen third in a rate of 1:59.6. Burrumbeet trainer Ashleigh Herbertson’s much-improved four-year-old It Is I/But Ler Raine mare Its Raining was successful in the Nat’s Rug And Harness Repair Vicbred Pace over 2200m. Sent forward from gate six to park outside leader Raw Steel (gate two), Its Raining outstayed her rivals to score by 32.9m over Extra, which was behind the leader and then one-one for the last lap, and Linora Dawn, which had raced three back on the markers. The mile rate was 1:59.5. It was a great day for the western district with Great Western owner/trainer Michael Gadsden landing the Moore Bulk Haulage Pace over 1700m with seven-year-old Village Jasper/Tennessee Songbird gelding Xavier Jack in a rate of 2:01.0. Driven by Denbeigh Wade, Xavier Jack led from gate three, running his rivals ragged to score by 6.1m from a death-seating Longtan Tigerman and Nicnac Bromac (three back the markers) in third. Redan’s Michael Stanley produced a nice type in Big Spending Telf, a colt by Changeover from Super Telf (a half-brother to metropolitan pacer Magical Telf) to take the Betta Electrical Horsham 2YO Pace over 1700m on debut. Allowed to find his feet from gate two with Wotplanetrufrom (gate four) leading, Stanley put the foot to the floor once balanced and Big Spending Telf showed exceptional speed to lead racing for the bell. Challenged strongly by Frostyflyer approaching the home turn, which had been outside him for the final circuit and almost crossed, Big Spending Telf rallied like a good horse on straightening to draw clear in the shadows of the post and register a 5m win in 2:00.7, with Shadow Spar third. By Len Baker (Harness Racing Australia)  

Its been a game of changing owners over the last two years for Ultimate CC, who bowed out of NZ racing a winner of the $15,000 Nevele R Fillies No.36 Consolation at Addington on Saturday, May 10. Initally a $135,000 buy-back at the yearling sales, Ultimate CC was then purchased post the sales by Peter Chambers for under the six figure asking price. Mr Chambers then on-sold her to fellow Australian Overport Lodge stable client Greg Brodie, who recently passed her on to trainer Mark Jones. Mark had sold Mr Brodie a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, which appears to have a more promising future, with the transfer of Ultimate CC to Mark’s WDC 03 (World Driving Champion 2003) Limited company as part of the deal. “She was in a hard grade and Greg’s not interested in breeding them.” Mark said. The Mainland Banner filly, named Rocker Band, is a half-sister to Peruvian Banner (1:52.1, US), Stunin Banner (11 wins, 1:59.5) and Return To Sender (four wins, 1:57.4 rate, 2400m). “I’ve turned her out for a few months and she’s had an operation. She’s a nice type,” Mark said of Rocker Band, who qualified winning a Rangiora 2000m trial in 2:31.7 on April 7. Mark was going to breed from Ultimate CC, but when a good offer came, he reasoned it wasn’t worth it for him waiting years to get her foals on the ground. “Stuart Valentine arranged it. I don’t know who the new owner is but she’s off to Melbourne,” Mark said. Ultimate CC, who picked up a $9000 winning stake on Saturday, has a bit going for post her race career with her breeding (Christian Cullen-TK Swift). She leaves NZ the winner of three and five times placed from 15 starts for $24,086 in stakes and has a fastest winning mile rate to date of 2:00.3 (1800m) on the grass at Waikouaiti. She has placed in a 1:58.1 rate (1609m) and ran a slick final 800m in 56.4s to win Saturday’s consolation. Ultimate CC responded to a smart front-running drive by Mark, who was allowed an easy run front in the mid stages. She kicked best in the straight to hold Armazem, Going To California and favourite Speights Girl (parked over the last 700m) by three-quarters of a length, rating 2:02.2 for the full 1950m. The win was Mark’s 62nd training win of the season. He holds third on the NZ trainers premiership this term behind the Purdon/Rasmussen barn (130 wins) and Robert Dunn (79 wins). SMOKE N SANTANNA SHOULD DEVELOP AT THREE Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones will give last week’s maiden winner Smoke N Santanna his chance in next week’s 2YO Garrards Sires Stakes Silver before tipping him out till next term. “Hopefully he’ll be in the Consolation and then the paddock,” Mark said. “He’s a very nice horse but its scary how good the two-year-olds are this season. “He’ll be better at three,” he said. Smoke N Santanna, a son of the smart racemare Smoke N Mirrors (10 wins for $189,675 in stakes), justified his $1.90 favourtism against the older maidens in the Avon City Ford Mobile Pace at Addington on Friday May 2. He appreciated a significant class drop back after finishing unplaced in three two-year-old starts in April. Driver Jonny Cox didn’t rush the Santanna Blue Chip colt early from the three gate for his maiden victory, being left parked. Cox’s inquiry for the front at the 1200m was denied by Gavin Smith (San Diego) but Cox knew Smoke N Santanna was travelling like the winner down the back, letting him surge to the front at the 600m. The favourite raced several lengths clear on the home turn and was allowed the luxury of easing down over the final 100m, winning untested by 3 1/4 lengths. Smoke N Santanna rated 2:00.4 for the mobile 1950m, the leaders running their last 800m in 61.3s and final 400m in 30.7s. He showed his promise qualifying in early December at Addington in a 2:02.5 rate (1950m). Smoke N Santanna is raced by his breeders, Peter and Debbie Smith, and Peter’s mother, Patricia, who also race Smoke N Santanna’s year older half-brother Smoke N Grin, the winner of one from three from the Dunedin stable of Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman. The Mark Jones stable notched a winning Addington double, advancing to 60 wins for the term when Tuxedo Max also scored a clear-cut win in the C1-2 Blue Star Taxis Handicap Pace. Tuxedo Max, a 3YO colt by former top pacer Elsu from Paris Hilton (by Village Jasper), appreciated the strong tempo over the 2000m stand. He settled sixth for catch driver Jimmy Curtin, slotting into the running line, then hooked wide at the 400m to reel in Jericho, who had dashed clear the 500m. Tuxedo Max sailed past the pacemaker at the 200m and was unchallenged in the run to the wire, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths in 2:30.4 (2:00.9 mile rate), the leaders last 800m in 58.9s and final 400m in 30.2s. His time was just 0.9 of a second outside the NZ 3YO colts and geldings mark, set by Classie Mach in 2012. “He’s doing a nice job. I can’t believe no-one has bought him!,” Mark said. This was his second win from seven starts. He gets a chance to further his solid record in the C1 mobile pace at Timaru this Sunday. By Jeff Scott (MARK JONES RACING)

La Mia Juliette, whose ancestry traces back to Dainty's Daughter, the greatest West Australian-bred pacing mare, gave convincing proof that she is on the doorstep of a wonderful career when trainer Peter Tilbrook drove her to a superb victory in the $100,000 Clipsal WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. La Mia Juliette, second fancy at 7/2 behind 10/9 favourite Isabella Jane, started from the outside of the back line (barrier three) and Tilbrook allowed her to relax in eighth position in the early stages while polemarker Maddyann Maree set the pace. Tilbrook sent La Mia Juliette forward, three wide with 900m to travel and he was able to give her a breather down the back straight when he angled her into the one-out, one-back position at the 600m mark before taking off again, three wide, 230m later. La Mia Juliette surged to the front 120m from the post and won by 2m from 8/1 chance Playin With Magic, who was seventh in the one-wide line at the bell and charged home five wide on the track. Choccywoccy (33/1) ran on solidly to be third, with Maddyann Maree wilting to fourth. La Mia Juliette, a fast-finishing heat winner at her only previous start, is already proving to be a good buy. Tilbrook bought the Jet Laag filly for $8000 at the 2013 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale and she now has earned $64,550 for Tilbrook's partner Letitia Barron and his good friend Luke Tabbakh. The win came as a well-deserved compensation for Tilbrook, who outlaid $4500 to buy a Northern Luck colt at the 2011 yearling sale. The colt, who was out of True Royalty, showed considerable promise before he died. True Royalty is the dam of La Mia Juliette and Tilbrook was determined to buy her at the yearling sale. True Royalty, by American stallion Barnett Hanover, was retired after having only two starts as a two-year-old in January 2007 when she finished in eighth and ninth positions. However, her dam Remember Rhoie, who failed to win a race from seven starts, produced six winners, including Lombo Buon Natale (100 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $112,061) and Perfect Rhoie (78 starts for 12 wins, 12 placings and $84,284). True Royalty and Perfect Rhoie are direct descendants of Dainty Widow, the mother of Dainty's Daughter, who set a world record for two miles when she won the 1970 WA Pacing Cup. Dainty's Daughter also won the 1971 Fremantle Cup, the Meteor Mile at Gloucester Park in 1969 when her time of 1.58.8 set a world record for a mare on a half-mile track. She also became the first Australian-bred mare to record a sub-2min. time for a mile in Australia. Friday night's triumph by La Mia Juliette gave the 42-year-old Tilbrook his second success in a group 1 event. His previous success was in the $100,000 State Sires Series final for three-year-old fillies when he brought 16/1 chance Beverley Button home with a powerful burst from the rear. La Juliette is the fourth foal, and the first to race, out of True Royalty. She rated 2.0.1 over the 1730m on Friday night and Tilbrook said that she would have a little break before being prepared for the $100,000 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies on June 27. "We've been going to the sales for quite a few years, trying to find one that would actually make the races," Tilbrook said. "And this one was good enough to give a name to. She sustained a really strong run in the heat from the 600m and she hit the line and went for another 200m at the same speed. So I thought she would be able to make a run in the final from the 900m. "I didn't really want to go that early, but when the one behind me was trying to flush me out I thought I'd let him do that and that might put Isabella Jane in a pocket. And that seemed to work." Isabella Jane, who raced in seventh position after starting out wide from barrier six, was inconvenienced and lost ground at the bell before finishing in ninth place. PERSISTENT THREAT IN LINE FOR RICH PLUMS Classy gelding Persistent Threat remained undefeated when Tom Buchanan drove him confidently to record a stylish victory in the $100,000 Clipsal WA Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the 23-year-old Buchanan his biggest success in harness racing and Persistent Threat has all the earmarks of becoming the dominant force in rich two-year-old feature events in the coming couple of months. If Persistent Threat pulls up well after his effortless triumph on Friday night he will contest the $50,000 Champagne Classic next Friday night, and all going well he will then run in the $100,000 Pearl Classic (June 13), the $100,000 Westbred Classic (June 27) and the $125,000 Golden Slipper (July 18). Bunbury trainer John Graham has produced Persistent Threat in fine fettle for his first five starts --- for five easy victories and earnings of $77,225. For Graham, Friday night's win gave him his second success in a group 1 Sales Classic. He trained and drove Trunkey Mustang for his victory over Super Embrace and Whitby Nova in the 1994 two-year-old colts and geldings Sales Classic. An excited Buchanan said that it was a thrill to win the classic and declared that it was a privilege to drive a youngster as good as Persistent Threat. "I'm glad to repay John (Graham) for the faith he has had in me," he said. Despite going into Friday night's event with an unbeaten record, Persistent Threat was a 3/1 chance, with Ezygatboy, a heat winner at his debut the previous week, a warm 7/4 favourite from the No. 2 barrier. Obviously many punters considered Persistent Threat a risk from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. Polemarker Captain Oats was smartest into stride, while Persistent Threat settled down in ninth position before Buchanan seized the initiative and urged persistent Threat forward with a three-wide burst 1100m from home. Persistent Threat mustered great pace and he burst to the front with a lap to travel. Persistent Threat covered the final quarters in 29.7sec. and 28.8sec. and won by a length and a half from Captain Oats, with more than two lengths to heat winner Blacklist in third place. Persistent Threat rated 1.57.6 which was a race record, bettering the 1.58 rated by Getaway Plan when he won the event in 2012. However, the track record for a two-year-old colt or gelding over 1730m remains at the 1.56.9 recorded by Hugh Victor when he beat Mister Jadore last August. Ezygatboy, who enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail for most of the way, failed to flatter and finished seventh. Persistent Threat is by Advance Attack and is out of the New Zealand-bred Live Or Die mare Well That's Life, who had 69 starts for 12 wins, 21 placings and stakes of $69,158. Well That's Life finished 11th at her only New Zealand start and then won once from four Victorian starts, eight times from 32 starts in South Australia and three times from 32 starts in Western Australia. IT'S A STROLL IN THE PARK FOR HOKONUI BEN New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Hokonui Ben will be a leading contender for feature Cup events on the Western Australian calendar, judged by his effortless victory in the $21,000 Memorial Day Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His much-anticipated clash with returning superstar Im Themightyquinn failed to eventuate when champion was withdrawn, suffering from a bout of colic. This left Hokonui Ben, drawn at the prized No. 1 barrier, a hot favourite at 3/1 on and trainer Aldo Cortopassi gave punters no cause for concern when he got Hokonui Ben away smartly before he dictated terms after a slow lead time of 38.4sec. and a modest first 400m section of the final mile in 30.7sec. Hokonui Ben dashed over the final three quarters in 28.9sec., 27.9sec. another 29.7sec. He rated 12.56.2 over the 1730m and beat Red Salute by just over two lengths after that pacer had trailed him throughout. Lord Lombo fought on to be third after enjoying the one-out, one-back passage. Hokonui Ben has been a wonderfully consistent pacer for Queensland owner Jerome Nieuwenburg, earning $611,799 from 20 wins and 15 placings from 57 starts. Cortopassi was delighted at the gelding's performance, saying: "First-up he was short (of full fitness) and he held on and won, and last week he ran a huge race in the Easter Cup (starting off the 40m mark and finishing fourth). "Once he drew one for tonight's race I was pretty confident. We fired him up in the prelim because we thought that Polak (barrier five) might come out and have a crack at us early. So we didn't want to be caught napping. We wanted to make sure that he was on his toes. "I was actually pretty confident even with the Quinn in the race. I thought this was my chance to beat him, first-up and after a long absence and no trials. We had drawn one and he had drawn seven and he was going to get a long way back. I thought that if we could run a good 1000m to 1200m we would give him a shake. But I'm not complaining that he wasn't there." JUNGLE GENIE BACK TO HER BEST Four-year-old New Zealand-bred mare Jungle Genie bounced back to her best form and ended a losing run of six when she outclassed her rivals in the West Australian Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A 5/1 chance from barrier three on the back line, Jungle Genie was driven confidently by Colin Brown, who was content to allow the mare to relax in eighth position before she unwound a powerful last-lap burst to storm to victory by just over a length from Terra Into The West (5/1). The pacemaker Cielito (15/2) held on to be third, with the even-money favourite Adda Rising Star finishing fourth after racing without cover. Jungle Genie, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excelled in WA after having managed one third placing from five New Zealand starts. She has had 27 starts for the Bonds for 12 wins and nine placings and she now has earned $67,932. The Bonds also are preparing Jungle Genie's half-sister Jungle Jewel, whose first three WA starts (all in March this year) produced a first-up Gloucester Park third followed by wins at Gloucester Park and Kellerberrin. Jungle Genie had warmed up for Friday night's event in a 21895m race at Pinjarra four days earlier when she was driven by Dylan Egerton-Green and raced four back on the pegs before finishing fast to be a close fourth behind Car Fiftyfour. "I thought that performance was enormous," said Brown. "I drove another horse in the race and I went back and watched the replay and I thought that the mare (Jungle Genie) was the run of the race. "She's just got a bit of that lickety-split back. I was always happy in running tonight and was particularly happy that most of the boys in the one-wide line were under the pump and fortunately they didn't pull out from underneath me. So that made it a lot easier." NO TROUBLE FOR ALTA CHRISTIANO Star four-year-old Alta Christiano was hardly out of second gear as he took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier and strolled to an effortless victory in the $25,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Johnson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His three-length victory over Erskine Range boosted his earnings to $276,164 from ten wins and two placings from just 15 starts, but ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. warned that the New Zealand-bred stallion was a day-by-day proposition. "His leg is very good at the moment, but he did do it (injure it) pretty badly twice, so there is no guarantee that he will stand up," he explained. "We've just got our fingers crossed and will take each race as it comes. If we can get a full campaign out of him and really show people what he can do it would be great. It's the main aim to boost his reputation before he goes to stud. "He obviously needs some good racing under his belt to get to the level required to contest the big carnival races next summer. The ability is there, no question, but just getting the work into him is the key at this stage. "I was really happy with the barrier draw tonight because he's obviously carrying a bit of extra condition and it's nice to get easy wins like that where he's not bustled around off the track. It's good to get wins like that, on the rail and doing it his own way." Alta Christiano started at 10/1 on and never looked in the slightest danger. Erskine Range, second fancy at 13/1 from the inside of the back line, trailed Alta Christiano throughout and battled on gamely. The Black Lord (50/1) came from three back on the pegs to be third. YOUNG'S DARING TACTICS PAY OFF Daring tactics by Pinjarra trainer-reinsman David Young returned handsome dividends when big seven-year-old gelding Boofshalfbrother left his ten rivals floundering in his wake in the 1730m Clipsal Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Young sent Boofshalfbrother straight to the front from barrier two and he gelding set a blistering early pace, sprinting over the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 28.4sec. and 28.6sec. before he coasted to a two-length win over Sargent Sonny after final quarters in 29.5sec. and 30.3sec. Boofshalfbrother was showing signs of fatigue over the final 300m. But so too were his rivals. He rated a slick 1.56.1 in quite a remarkable performance from a veteran performer who had managed one win from his previous 30 starts. Young certainly enjoyed the moment, jubilantly waving the whip as he crossed the finish line well clear of the struggling opposition. Boofshalfbrother, who had started from 40m in a 2636m stand at Narrogin at his previous outing a fortnight earlier, finished last in that event after covering a lot of extra ground. He was a 10/1 chance on Friday night, with last-start Pinjarra winner Adda Notherzero favourite at 6/4 and Guilty Grin, a winner at his two previous starts (at Pinjarra() second fancy at 9/4. Those two runners started from the two outside positions on the back line. Guilty Grin went forward in the first lap to obtain a good sit, one-out and one-back, and he battled on into fifth place. Adda Notherzero was always well back and finished ninth. Boofshalfbrother's only previous Gloucester Park win was in August 2010. He now has raced 84 times for 13 wins, 19 placings and $63,447. By American stallion Mattuity, he is out of Crouch mare Point Anne, who was unplaced at her four starts on WA country tracks in 2000 before being retired. Point Anne's dam Dirkala produced five winners, including Bremer Bay (71 starts for 17 wins, 11 placings and $52,418) and Trigalow (71 starts for 14 wins, 22 placings and $59,621). Boofshalfbrother is related to dozens of former very smart WA pacers, including Cheeky Arab, Bin Oro, Oro Travis, Arabian Bin, Bin Axworthy, red Axworthy and Vermilion. ACCIDENT AIDS SHANDON VILLAGE An accident soon after the start of the 2536m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night paved the way for an easy win to 12/1 chance Shandon Village. Ergo, a 16/1 chance, met with severe interference and caused reinsman Ryan Warwick to be dislodged from the sulky 300m after the start. Elusive Courage, the 4/1 second fancy, was setting the pace before relinquishing the lead 600m after the start to 10/9 favourite Notabadexcuse. However, the stewards called off the race after a lap because Ergo was still lying on the track. Ergo was then withdrawn on veterinary advice and the race was re-started a few minutes later. In an almost identical replay of the first start, Elusive Courage worked hard, three wide, to get to the front before Clint Hall sent Notabadexcuse into the lead after 600m. Again, trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi had eased Shandon Village to the rear after starting from the outside of the front line. Meet George Jetson moved into the breeze 1250m from home and got on terms with Notabadfexcuse at the 400m mark. Shandon Village, who had been restrained to the rear at the start, was ninth at the bell before Cortopassi sent him forward, three wide to move to sixth with 450m to travel. Notabadexcuse was under pressure, but still narrowly in front of Meet George Jetson on the home turn when he broke into a gallop and caused interference to Meet George Jetson. Shandon Village charged straight to the front and raced away to win by just over four lengths from Fire of Rock (who ran on from last at the bell), with Roy Bolt in third place. Cortopassi admitted that everything had gone in the favour of Shandon Village. "They burnt hard the first time (before the race was stopped) and they burnt again the second time," he said. "This horse (Shandon Village) has got a brilliant turn of speed and they set it up for him. We just got the benefit of it. "We've been racing him in stands and he'd get away and he would miss. So his form was a bit up and down. So now I'm concentrating on mobiles and I think his form should hold up a bit more." Shandon Village, who is owned by his breeder, Victorian priest Fr Brian Glasheen, came to WA recently with a losing sequence of 20 and won at his WA debut, in a stand at Northam in mid-March this year. The eight-year-old Village Jasper gelding has raced 158 times for 14 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $75,830. He has had six WA starts for two wins and one placing. The stewards found that Callan Suvaljko caused the interference to Ergo by allowing Knight Crusader to shift inwards to the marker pegs when not clear of Ergo. Suvaljko was suspended for 16 days. He was granted a four-day stay of proceedings and travelled to Bunbury on Saturday night where he landed a double with 15/2 chance Cup of Life and Copagrin, an 11/2 chance who finished powerfully to win the Bunbury Tenth Light Horse Troop Cup by two lengths from Artistic Glow, rating 1.55.8 to set a track record over 2100m. JONES KEEPS UP THE GOOD WORK Queensland teenager Lauren Jones maintained her splendid form in the sulky when she brought 6/1 chance Heavens delight home with a well-timed burst to snatch a last-stride victory in the 1730m Clipsal Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Jones, a stablehand at the Serpentine training establishment of Gary Hall sen., drove patiently as she trailed the pacemaker and even-money favourite The Oyster Bar until she got into the clear in the home straight and Heavens Delight sprinted fast to beat The Oyster Bar by a half-head at a 1.55.9 rate. Black Pontiac (8/1) worked hard in the breeze and gained a narrow lead in the home straight before finishing a nose away in third place. Heavens Delight, trained by Hall, was having his first start after a four-month absence. A winner of two races from eight starts in New Zealand, Heavens Delight has had 40 starts in WA for 13 wins and nine placings. His stakes stand at $91,516. GIFT HORSE DUNDEE THREE WINS AGAIN New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dundee Three, a gift horse from Greg and Skye Bond to Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith, made his record for his new owner two starts for two wins when he scored an impressive victory in the 2503m Clipsal Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Those two wins have been worth $22,440 and the Mach Three gelding has improved his record to 76 starts for 21 wins and 22 placings for stakes of $216,598. Dundee Three, who started off the back mark of 40m with Shardons Rocket, was favourite at 5/2. Frontmarker Bartowski, third fancy at 9/2, set the pace for Chris Voak with 3/1 chance The Pacing Priest working hard in the breeze. Dundee Three raced in 11th position for the first 1200m before moving to sixth at the bell. Morgan Woodley then got him into the one-wide line before taking him three wide again 350m from home. Dundee Three sustained his spirited effort to get to the front on the home turn before dashing away to win by two lengths from Bartowski at a 1.58.9 rate. Franco Jackson, who trailed the pacemaker, was third, with Shardons Rocket in fourth place. "UI was really concerned," Woodley said. "Dundee Three got away fairly well, but it wasn't good enough to even maintain his ground. The front pack was really rolling along and we were chasing the whole way. "I was urging him to make ground all the way and it certainly was concerning what he was going to have left in the tank coming towards the 400m and I just can't say enough for the horse and for Steph's performance. "A lot of lesser horses would have put up the white flag around the 200 to 300m mark. But he just dug deep and kept coming. When Shardons Rocket went around to attempt to get to the breeze it was a concern for me if he was able to get there cheaply. Then I would have had to lead up the three-wide line, and that would have made things difficult. "With Shardons Rocket getting left out three wide it certainly made a huge difference to my horse's chances." DAVIES KEEPS HER PERFECT RECORD Kiara Davies maintained her 100 per cent record behind speedy five-year-old Little Boy Blue when she adopted bold frontrunning tactics to score an easy victory in the 1730m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was her second drive behind Little Boy Blue, after using similar tactics to win with the New Zealand-bred gelding over 2130m two starts earlier. Little Boy Blue, trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, is flourishing and moves to an M3 classification. He gives every indication of many more victories. Little Boy Blue was a heavily-supported 6/4 favourite and Davies wasted little time in urging Little Boy Blue forward from the No. 4 barrier and into the lead after 220m. A sparkling first quarter in 28.2sec. was followed by a moderate 30.2sec. second split before Little Boy Blue dashed over the final sections in 28.1sec. and 27.9sec. to beat Lisharry by two and a half lengths at a 1.54 rate. Maggies Mystery finished boldly to be third, with El Machine wilting to fourth after working in the breeze. "He was a bit keen early and I was happy to get a second quarter in 30.2sec.," Davies said. Little Boy Blue has raced 60 times for 14 wins, 21 placings and $131,106. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.

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